The scorpion might be one of the most feared arachnids on the planet and for good reason. When you take a look at it, all you can see is eight legs, big pinchers on the front and a big tail with a stinger on it.
For anyone that didn’t know any better, the scorpion is a killer. In addition, there are over 1.2 million scorpion stings a year which has led to 3,250 annual deaths. In comparison, for every person killed by a poisonous snake, 10 people are killed by scorpions. It is no surprise that people are terrified of this little guy.
However, there are some people that love the darkness the scorpion represents, or they just love how they look. In these cases, people like to show off their love for the scorpion by getting a scorpion tattoo to show off to their friends. Scorpion tattoos are not that common in the tattoo world so getting the scorpion tattoo inked on your body should bring you some attention and having you rocking a pretty unique tattoo.
In this post we are going to talk facts about the scorpion and what makes them so fascinating. We will also talk about what scorpions symbolize and what they mean to the people that get them as tattoos. We will also talk about a few variations about this tattoo and if the meaning changes when other images are added to the tattoo. We hope you feel more educated on the scorpion tattoo meaning when you are done reading this.
Scorpion Tattoo Meaning
A part of the ancient arachnid family, the scorpion has well known features such as front claws and the telltale stinger that have resulted in mass phobia of the creature. There are dozens of types of scorpions, having evolved over hundreds of millions of years on Earth to create a variety of menacing creatures.
A scorpion tattoo can hold many symbolic meanings to those who choose to wear it many of which are associated with the scorpion’s unfriendly traits and characteristics. Scorpions are known as poisonous and dangerous arachnids that must be treated with respect and great caution. They are also a part of the Western Zodiac and represent the Scorpio (born October 23- November 21) sign which is attributed as one who is ruled by their passions and desires.
Scorpio is a water sign which is controversial to the desert-dwelling scorpion. Scorpion tattoo that includes waves, water, or ocean imagery is often representative of the astrological sign. The symbol for Scorpio is also featured frequently in these designs and may be incorporated into the body of the scorpion.
The scorpion became associated with the Scorpio sign following the discovery of the Scorpius constellation. Greek mythology reveals that Orion threatened to destroy all of the animals on Earth but was stopped when Artemis, sworn to protect all animals, sent a scorpion to battle him. Orion and the scorpion fought until Orion was killed. Zeus sent the scorpion into the heavens for his valiant efforts. Because of this myth, the scorpion has since been known for its physical prowess and is a symbol of strength and endurance.
The sting of a scorpion can trigger a hallucinogenic effect and thus makes a scorpion tattoo symbolic of an altered state of consciousness and limitless perception. It can also be a symbol of a freedom from limiting beliefs about death. Additionally, many ancient shamans utilized the scorpion’s venom in their spirit journeys. In these tattoo designs, the scorpion may be colored or rendered in a way that transforms the realistic appearance. A pattern or tribal-style design may be used within the outline of a scorpion, or the piece may feature line work in the background.
The Egyptians believed that the end of one life was the means of the beginning of another. The Egyptian scorpion goddess, Serqet, was the deity of fertility, nature, medicine, animals, and the healing of stings. She is pictured as a woman with a scorpion resting on her head as a crown leading the scorpion to represent power and regality in this way.
Because of the venomous and deadly sting of the scorpion, Serqet was also associated with death and was a protector of souls and those who embalmed and dressed the dead. Scorpion designs with Egyptian iconography reference Serqet and may also be feminine in design or feature the female form.
In other African folklore, the scorpion was paired with the idea of life and death as well. They believed that a scorpion sting had intense healing qualities, although one sting could also prove to be lethal. African flora may be included with the scorpion tattoo like desert roses or desert scenery like sand dunes.
Feminine scorpion designs also often include swirling line work or designs that surround the creature. The swirling lines may make up the body of the scorpion so that the form appears more delicate and attractive rather than realistic. Feminine designs may be animated and cartoonish, using brighter or softer colors. They can also be done very simply with few marks or be made to appear like jewelry, lace, or paisley. Feminine designs may also point to the goddess Serqet and be a symbol of power.
The scorpion is also affiliated with the sun and tattoos of this nature depict sun-like qualities such as energy, radiance, focus, clarity and vitality. Many scorpion designs include a red or orange circle that represents the sun and may rest in the background of the piece. Light beams or clouds are included as well to represent nature.
Often, the scorpion is a symbol of death and include weaponry like swords and other blades and death imagery like skulls to emphasize the deadliness of the creature. Other popular meanings tied to the scorpion are; warning, survival, energy, healing, mystery, protection, rebellion, aggression, self-defense and transition.
Scorpion Tattoo Variations
As you can see from above, there are a lot of different ways that you can get a scorpion tattoo and below are a few other examples of scorpion tattoos that we have seen that we enjoy.
Realistic Scorpion Tattoo
The realistic scorpion tattoo is one that will strike fear into people that glance at the tattoo. It doesn’t necessarily have a different meaning than any other version of the scorpion. However, it is a very popular way to have this tattooed. The idea behind the realistic scorpion tattoo is to make it look like the scorpion is crawling on the body of the tattoo enthusiast which may cause some unease in the people that see it.
Scorpion on the Desert Floor
In many cases, the scorpion in their home environment is a symbol of survival. We’ve talk about a lot of other things the scorpion tattoo represents but being durable and able to survive anything is one of the stronger meanings that we have heard. Scorpions have adapted to their environment for millions of years and the person wearing this tattoo might have survived some tough times as well. The scorpion tattoo for this person isn’t a way to make people uneasy but more a symbol of their toughness.
Many people think that scorpions are insects but one thing that sets them apart is that insects lay their eggs outside of their bodies while scorpions have live babies, and the process is known as viviparity. Many of the babies are inside of a membrane where they get nourishment from a yoke inside that membrane, while others aren’t in the membrane and get their food directly from the mother.
Gestation of the babies might take as long as 18 months but could be as short as two months. Newborn babies will ride on their mother’s back until they go through their first molting period.
Scorpions live for a long time in comparison to other animals. Many insects live for months or even weeks. Mayflies are known to just live a couple days. In captivity, some scorpions can live for up to 25 years while scorpions in the wild average a lifespan of 2 to 10 years.
It isn’t surprising that scorpions have learned to live for so long as they were around over 300 million years ago. There is evidence in fossils that show that scorpions have remained almost the same since the Carboniferous period. The ancestors of today’s scorpions are said to have lived in the oceans and probably had gills but by the time the Silurian period came about, those scorpions had found their way onto land from the water.
Scorpions didn’t learn to live this long from not being survivors. Arthropods have been on land for more than 400 million years. Scorpions are the epidemy of survivalists as they can live to be 25 years old. They can go a full year without having any food and they can stay under water for up to 48 hours because they have book lungs like horseshoe crabs.
Scorpions are known for living in harsh, dry environments and they survive for many reasons, but one reason is they can survive off the moisture from the food they eat. Their metabolic rates are very low which means they only need about a tenth of the amount of oxygen other insects need. If you think cockroaches can survive anything, you haven’t learned about the scorpion yet.
A fun fact about the scorpion (and something I’ve been known to do) is they dance before mating. There is an intricate mating ritual that scorpions take place in called the promenade à deux, or a walk for two. This ritual starts with the female and male meeting. The male will then grab her by her pinchers or pedipalps, and lead hear on a graceful walk until he finds a spot to drop his spermatophore.
\Once he finds that spot, he leads the female over to that spot and sets her directly over it so she can take inside of her. After this, the male will usually leave quickly because in captivity, the female is known for eating the male when they are done as she has worked up an appetite after all the moving around.
Before getting your scorpion tattoo, make sure you take a look at the portfolio of the artist you are thinking about seeing to make sure they tattoo in the style you were thinking. If you need help finding an artist, let us know so we can help.